Proposal for 18 hectare solar farm in village

PLANS for a huge 18 hectare solar farm in Catsfield have been revealed.

The proposed 12MW solar photovoltaic (PV) park, which will generate enough electricity to power 3,300 homes, is earmarked for land east of the B2204 at Catsfield Stream.

It will be built by Iota Solar Limited, part of OPDE, on 18.65 hectares of agricultural land currently used for grazing and a small part for growing Christmas trees.

Alejandro Vázquez from OPDE: “We have selected this site as it is so secluded.

“Direct visual impact is restricted to around three properties to the north-east of the site, and people using the footpath to the south.

“Much of the site will remain in agricultural use as the panels will allow animal grazing.

“The site also offers opportunities for increased biodiversity on the site such as sowing wild grasses and seed-rich flowers making it a potential haven for insects, birds and small mammals.

“Putting a deer fence up around the site can also exclude large mammals such as fox and badger so making the site more likely to support ground-nesting birds such as skylarks.

“Like all solar parks, there will be negligible noise, no light incursion on the countryside, and no traffic impact apart from during the construction period.”

OPDE is a multinational group specialising in the development, investment and operation of solar farms with an established track record in England, across Europe, and around the world.

It recently completed a new 12MWp solar farm in Alresford, Hampshire, and has several other projects coming forward in the UK during this year.

A small part of the land for the proposed park is owned by the Catsfield Christmas Tree Farm, which will continue to operate as before.

Full details of the proposals have been uploaded on, where residents can give their views on a questionnaire, make general comments or suggestions, ask questions, and register to be automatically advised of future updates via email.

There will be chance to find out more at an exhibition in Catsfield Village Hall on Wednesday June 18, between 1.30-5.30pm.

A newsletter outlining the proposals was circulated to residents last week.